There are many ways to reduce the risk of surgical bruising. The most obvious is the technical skill of the surgeon who can minimize the trauma of surgery to reduce the bleeding and bruising. As the patient, you have to do your part as well. The most common reason for bleeding and bruising from surgery is because of medications or supplements taken by the patient that do not allow the blood to clot in a timely fashion.
The category of medications called NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) is the most common culprit. Aspirin, Motrin, Advil, Aleve are some of the examples. Keep in mind that even a baby aspirin can cause significant bleeding and bruising. Then there are prescription medications such as Celebrex, Mobic, Ultracet etc., which are also NSAIDs. The strongest blood thinners are Coumadin, Plavix, Pradaxa, Xarelto and Eliquis. The bleeding from these medications can become uncontrolled and can be fatal.
There are many supplements which can cause increased bruising. The most significant is fish oil which is taken very commonly and is a significant source of postoperative bruising. Vitamin E and flaxseed oil can do the same thing. Alcohol intake can also increase the bruising.
So how do we stop the bleeding and bruising from happening? Avoiding all nonessential medications for up to 1 month before an elective surgery is the wisest thing to do. Multi-vitamin pills, vitamin D, and calcium are okay to take. Your prescription medications approved by your family physician are okay to take. To help with the bruising, you can also take arnica pills. Icing the area for the first 3 days is very helpful to reduce the bruising. Avoiding any heavy activity for the first few days is helpful as it can lead to delayed bruising by increasing the blood pressure. If you do end up getting bruised, sometimes the physician can use an IPL machine to make the bruises disappear faster. A new over-the-counter cream called Dermend also seems to be helpful in expediting the resolution of bruising.
Dr. Tanveer Janjua is a recognized leader in the facial plastic surgery. He currently practices at Janjua Facial Surgery in Bedminster, New Jersey. More about Dr. Janjua…
His main office location in Bedminister, NJ — within easy access from Morris and Somerset County, New Jersey and New York City. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us toll-free at 877-JANJUA1.
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